Have you ever considered cycling while pregnant? Or are pregnant and want to try cycling? we have narrowed down the most important tips and tricks for you to know.
Exercising during your pregnancy will help you to stay healthy and feel your best. Indoor cycling is a great form of exercise to do during a pregnancy. It can help improve posture and reduce common discomforts such as backaches and fatigue. It offers many health benefits for you and your baby, as well as a welcoming and energetic environment.
There are a few things you should be aware of if you choose to cycle through your pregnancy. We've prepared a short summary of how pregnancy and your changing body will affect your cycling, and how you can take the best possible care of yourself when taking a class.
*Be sure to check with your doctor to get the OK before starting indoor cycling while pregnant. *
Taking cycling classes while you are pregnant offers many benefits for you and your baby. Below are the top three benefits we have found associated to cycling:
1. Strengthen and tones muscle. This helps to hold and support the extra weight associated with pregnancy. It also allows for an easier and faster delivery because your body is conditioned for the exertion required to give birth.
2. Low impact on your body. You do not have to worry about excess force on your joints like you do with other cardio exercises.
3. Control of workout intensity. During cycling classes, you are in control of changing the resistance on your bike and can adjust it to the comfort level you need. This will help make your exercise experience as enjoyable as it possibly can be while still feeling like you are at the same pace as the rest of the class.
Bike setup is critical. It is important to make sure you have the proper bike set up in order to avoid any discomfort while cycling. Here are some adjustments that you will have to make:
1. Raise the handlebars to a height that allows for a comfortable position for your growing belly. At some point, the handlebars may be at the highest position in order to allow room for your belly.
2. Position the saddle so that it is at the correct height. The saddle should be adjusted so it is parallel to your hip bone. Pay close attention to the position of your spine so you don't add stress to your lower back, especially if your seat is too far forward.
Tell your instructor before class that you are expecting and ask for any help you may need to adjust the bike so that it fits properly and comfortably to you!
In order to make your cycling class safe and comfortable for you, here are some tips you should be aware of:
1. Be aware of your body and its limits. During your class it is important to pay close attention to your body and how you feel. If you are out of breath or experience any kind of pain, slow down and immediately stop exercising. Let the SPIRE Team know and we can assist you. If you experience bleeding, dizziness, chest pain, or swelling, be sure to get in contact with your doctor.
2. Stay hydrated. Be sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your class to decrease the risk of overheating.
3. Take frequent postural breaks. It is common to have lower back discomfort during a pregnancy. To reduce the discomfort, take frequent breaks. Sit up tall in the saddle with arms down by your sides to give your back relief throughout your class.
4. Avoid being out-of-the-saddle Anyone can attest that standing up during a cycling class is way more intense than sitting down. Try to limit any movement that has you standing up by choosing the low options our instructors provide.
5. Stretch after class. It is important to take time to stretch after your class. Be sure to stretch your legs and lower back so your muscles do not get too tight and cause discomfort.
6. Have Fun! By choosing to exercise, you are making a great decision for you and your baby's health. Indoor cycling class are fun, energetic and can give you an added boost – physically and communally – throughout your pregnancy.
It is important to note that everyone is different throughout their pregnancy. Some may cycle comfortably weeks before their delivery, while others may experience discomfort and will have to stop just weeks into their pregnancy. Be sure to check with your doctor to get the OK before starting indoor cycling while pregnant.
If this is your first time taking a class, be sure to check out our tips for attending your first indoor cycling class at SPIRE.